This cannot be said enough, but strangely though the concept of water as part of a healthy diet is often overlooked. It should be considered a nutritious drink for all the benefits it offers us. Can you imagine going without water for a few days? Why, then, is it not made a mandatory part of a nutritious healthy program?It’s a well-known fact that our body is about 70% water—our blood, lungs, brain, and muscles all contain water. Our body temperature is regulated by water and nutrients travel in water to all parts of the body. In addition, oxygen is transferred to cells in water; also, water removes wastes and protects our joints and organs.
We get a percentage of our water needs from food. Some beverages that we drink also contain water. Water doesn’t have any calories and, what’s more, it’s cheap and easily available. Denying ourselves this important fluid will lead to under- and dehydration. Dehydration can lead in turn to severe headaches and muscle pain. A study has shown that not drinking enough water can even result in back pain.
People often substitute soft drinks, tea, coffee, or alcohol for water, the intake of which actually leads to further dehydration. There is no substitute for good clean drinking water and in measured quantities. Another fallout of constantly denying the body water when it exhibits the symptoms of thirst is actually to lose the sensation of thirst itself.
Dehydration then becomes chronic, especially as people age, which leads to complicated medical problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, angina, migraines, dyspepsia, colitis, and constipation, and problems with digestion. (1)
Respiration, sweating, exercise, and urination make us lose water that we need to replenish. The recommended intake of water is eight glasses of water a day—especially for people who are dieting. So the regular water intake for most people would be slightly lower than that. However, this doesn’t mean that you start drinking water wholesale. Don’t overdo it. Water intake must be balanced with body salts or electrolytes or else it can lead to heart attacks and prove fatal even. People who are dieting or exercising need to take extra precautions as water intoxication or hyponatremia takes place if the body’s salt and water levels get hazardously out of balance. Fruit juices, herbal teas that are not diuretic, and sports drinks with electrolytes all help to restore water content in the body.
You must consult a doctor if you feel that you are seriously dehydrated. Carry water with you wherever you go—add lime to take away from the bland taste. Use a water filter, drink water when you exercise, drink warm or room temperature water; and don’t drink too much water at night to make up for not having drunk enough during the day.
Be aware of the dangers of dehydration and the damage caused to your body by not drinking enough water. Spread awareness among people about the benefits of plain old drinking water and, most importantly, make it an integral part of your daily diet and living.
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